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Saw a trial for the first time IRL


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The "smalahundafélag Íslands Austurlandsdeild" (the icelandic herding dog club, eastern department) held a trial not very far from where I live, yesterday 6th november.

It was held at Ytra Lón a farm located on the Langanes peninsula. We were very lucky with the weather; temperature around freezing point and a nice breeze.

It was very entertaining, and I had great fun watching the dogs and their handlers compete.

Pictures of this event will be probably be put up here soon; http://smalahundur.123.is/pictures/

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An interesting observation I made, grips seem to be tolerated more (by the judges) than in trialing in the US.

I saw a few dogs grip, nobody was disqualified. No harsh grips, just the occasional "flyby" mouthfull of wool.

I think it might have something to do with the character of the sheep, and the nature of sheep keeping here, all sheep are free range over the summer. As far as this newbie can tell the sheep seemed to pose a real challenge for the dogs!

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I'm surprised "flyby grips" are allowed, since those are usually the result of frustration or inexperience in the dog and not considered proper grips. Trials out west in the US are held on free range sheep, and you're right that judges would not allow such grips. A grip on the nose to a sheep that's challenging the dog might be allowed, depending on the circumstances. But grips on any other part of the body would most certainly result in disqualification.

 

J.

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I'm surprised "flyby grips" are allowed, since those are usually the result of frustration or inexperience in the dog and not considered proper grips. Trials out west in the US are held on free range sheep, and you're right that judges would not allow such grips. A grip on the nose to a sheep that's challenging the dog might be allowed, depending on the circumstances. But grips on any other part of the body would most certainly result in disqualification.

 

J.

That confirms my suspicions. When I meet the guy that was judging i´ll ask him about this.

 

By the way, would you teach a dog these nose grips?

 

I just changed my training group from very flighty yearlings (that had gone a bit sour suffering my dogs) to two young wethers and two old (wise) sheep.

 

Trying them out with Dagur the main problem was they refused to move for him (the main culprits being the old ladies).

 

So the second session I took the dog on a leash, walked up to the non moving sheep, and commanded "take her"(well the icelandic version there of) resulting in Dagur gripping their nose. I hope this results in the sheep getting a bit more respect for the dog, and giving Dagur more self confidence around them.

 

I don´t accept grips in flanks /hind parts, and will do everything to prevent them , and failing that strong correction will be given.

 

Edit: on second thought I think this question would be better asked in the training discussion of the working dog section of the forum, I "copied and pasted" it into a new topic there.

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